Check Your Health: Tips to improve your running

Check Your Health - Running Tips

(KUTV)- If you are training for a marathon or just deciding to take up running for the first time, there are some things you need to do to stay safe and prevent injuries. Scott McKeel, a physical therapist from American Fork Hospital, discusses what you should do if you want to improve your running.

1.)What are things that can be done outside of running that can decrease my risk of injury?

  • Running-specific core and hip stability exercises will greatly reduce a runner's risk of injury. Whether you're training for your first 5K or your 25th marathon, core stability and hip stability exercises improve a runner's overall biomechanics and reduce inefficiencies.

2.)What are the best times of the day to run during the summer if I am training for a race in the fall?

  • Depending on the race you are training for, it is best to train at a time of the day the is the coolest. Running early in the morning or later in the evening are the best for Utah's climate. However, if you are training for a race that is going to be in a hot climate, it would be beneficial to train at a hot time of the day 1-2 times per week to acclimate to hotter temperatures. If you are going to practice this tactic, make sure that you are properly hydrated and take routes that are near water sources.

3.)What are things outside of running that can improve my performance?

  • Lifting weights for both upper and lower body can improve overall muscular strength, endurance, and power. This can improve a runner's form and decrease breakdown further into longer runs. Plyometrics like burpees, box jumps, lunge jumps, or stair/hill sprints, when performed correctly, can greatly improve flight distance in a runner's stride (stride power) make them a faster runner.

4.)Are there any benefits to stretching?

  • Dynamic stretching can be performed before running (ex: high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, A-skips, etc...) to prep the body for performance, while static stretching, or long sustained holds of a particular stretch, can be performed after running to reduce muscle cramping, chronic injuries, and allow for improved mobility in muscle groups used for running.